Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach/Marina del Rey HEP

Section Responsible for Processing



These are collections resulting from long term environmental monitoring in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, plus Marina del Rey, resulting from multiple studies. The Harbors Environmental Projects (HEP) surveys together with the Reish Harbor surveys (also in the LACM-AHF Polychaete Collection) comprise more than 30 years of continuous study.


USC’s Harbors Environmental Projects unit was set up in the early 1970s to investigate the marine environment of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The project, under the guidance of Drs. Dorothy Soule and Mikimiko Oguri, was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the USC Sea Grant Program, the Southern California Gas Company, the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the Ports, seafood processors, and other sources. Biodiversity surveys were just one of the many individual studies covered under the umbrella of HEP. Abiotic (temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, pH, light transmittance, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, sediment grain size, trace metals and pesticides), and biotic sampling was done. Biotic parameters included nutrient analyses, phytoplankton productivity, chlorophyll a, assimilation ration, zooplankton, zooplankton, oceanographic conditions, biological oxygen demand, coliform, streptococcus, bacteria, benthic samples (Reinecke box core, Campbell grabs), fish counts (otter trawls, gills nets) and bird counts. HEP continued for more than 10 years and expanded to cover Marina del Rey and a variety of topics: ocean disposal of cannery and domestic waste, oil seepage, storm-water runoff, toxic sediments, El Nino impacts, oil spills, and the 1976 Sansinema explosion. Identification of benthic samples was done by students and technicians belonging to benthic labs in the Allan Hancock Foundation. Some of the non-polychaete specimens were stored in the AHF Polychaete collection room and included in the specimen transfer to NHMLAC in 1988. The “others” were later given to the MBC for distribution to the appropriate sections.

Collection Location and Dates

Surveys started in 1973 and continued for 10 years in the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and Marina del Rey.

Taxonomic Contents

Polychaetes and other invertebrates.


One set of HEP reports is held by the Polychaete Section, another by the NHMLAC Library.

Description of Collection

Wet preserved collection. Samples originally fixed in 10% formalin, later rinsed in fresh water and transferred into 70% ethanol.

Collection Inventory

None at present. Much of the polychaete material was already incorporated into the general collection when it was transferred to the NHMLAC.

Collection Assets

No collection assets available.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)